But the striker has no regrets staying at the Toon and instead of leaving on-loan in January.
Ranger had a clutch of Championship sides looking at his progress this season before the loan window closed for business.
The former Southampton trainee told the Evening Chronicle: “I wasn’t expecting to be here – I thought I’d go on loan for more experience.
“I was glad I didn’t go out, as it’s given me the chance to play in the Premier League.
“I think I’m improving as a player. I’m happy to be here, and I feel like I’ve done all right.”